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HCDA approves plan for $10M fairground in Kakaako

Andrew Gomes
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Developer Billy Balding’s plan to create a year-round fairground in Kakaako includes a go-kart track similar to this one. Balding said gas-powered go-karts are approved for indoor use and would be quieter than the automobile traffic on Ala Moana.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority’s board of directors Wednesday approved a proposal for a year-round fairground in Kakaako with go-kart racing, a zip line, indoor skydiving and a surfing wave pool.

Project developer Billy Balding is proposing to spend $10 million to develop the attraction on a 3-acre parcel leased from Kamehameha Schools near Kakaako Makai Gateway Park on Ala Moana Boulevard.

Balding, 48, a competitive canoe paddler, tow-in surfer and triathlete, said he has dreamed of establishing a place for young and old to have fun for 20 years.

He said his project would employ about 45 people and could begin partial operation as soon as May 31.

However, Balding will be required to obtain a special management area permit. He also needs to finalize a lease with Kamehameha Schools, which has expressed enthusiasm for the fairground near 29 acres that the trust intends to redevelop with several residential towers, stores and restaurants.

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